6 Apr
2016
Posted in: parenting, travel
By    Comments Off on Just One More Quarter

Just One More Quarter

I sat in our vehicle on our way home from a week-long spring break vacation believing I was rejuvenated. Spending time with my family, traveling and enjoying the outdoors free of distractions speaks to most of my love languages. I felt waves of anxiety flow away and tense muscles relax over the course of those eight days. There are eight weeks of school left, and I was prepared to bring my A-game to the final quarter of the school year.

Hiker on Watchman Trail in Zion National Park

Then Monday afternoon happened with its folders full of notes, homework, track practice, parent meetings, dance class, musical practice and more paperwork needing read and signed. I read every note these children bring home, but for the life of me, cannot keep any information straight. I forget which field trip on which day belongs to which child. By the end of March, it’s impossible for me to focus on schedules. I desperately want summer with its loose, free-flowing days and nights. Spring break was supposed to have been enough to get me through until June 8.

I sat in the vehicle fulfilling chauffeuring duties yesterday after school, attempting to listen to something all four children were saying at seemingly the exact same time, and desperately wanted to be back in Northern Arizona on vacation. Any attempts at stepping my mothering up a notch to its organized, caring, September self flew out the window on Day 1 of fourth quarter.

mom and four kids in Peekaboo Slot - Red Canyon, Utah

I told our youngest three kids Monday morning at breakfast that we were going to get back to a more normal time for dinner with more healthy options, bedtime was back to 8 p.m., 20 minutes of reading every day after school and paperwork cleared off the kitchen counter before bed each night. Famous last words. The kids were in bed at 10 p.m. last night, which is the fault of March Madness more than anything. I just could not tell them to go to bed, school night or not. My September self would have followed through. I have no idea if anyone read anything yesterday, and I never even cracked one child’s school folder, which required parent initials. There are still papers on my kitchen island from before spring break.

I had the best of intentions for fourth quarter, but now have lowered the bar. Let’s simply strive to enjoy the end of the school year. I have one graduating from kindergarten while one of her brothers graduates from elementary school. There are field trips, track meets, concerts, musical performances, recitals, dance competitions, longer nights and warmer days.  There may not be consistent bedtimes, healthy home-cooked meals, laundry folded, and spotless counters. I may need to ask, again, what day and time a field trip is and who needs a sack lunch for what. I’m not going to allow the stress to build. I want more of my vacation attitude every day. These days of actively mothering are too numbered for me to worry about whether my counters are visible or not.

 

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